Wednesday, May 4, 2022

Canning potatoes?

A reader posted a question as follows: "Patrice, we’re growing lots of potatoes and thought I might try canning some. I see lots of internet recipes but thought I’d ask you if you’d canned potatoes – and if your family liked them. Thanks."

Short answer: No, I've never canned potatoes. It always seemed easier to store them whole. Root cellars are the ideal storage method, obviously, but for those of us without a root cellar (or any cellar, for that matter), then keeping them anywhere cool and dark works for a few months.

But canning potatoes is fairly straightforward, according to my canning book. The following is  advice I'm relating from this book.

This book says small (new) potatoes are actually better canned than stored in a root cellar, because they're more likely to spoil in storage. Larger potatoes can be diced, though diced potatoes are processed for five minutes longer than whole potatoes because they're more dense in the jars. If you're cutting up larger potatoes into smaller chunks (but not diced), the chunks shouldn't be any bigger than 1.5 inches across.

Raw packing potatoes (whole or diced) are packed in jars with a little salt added (1/2 teaspoon for points, 1 teaspoon for quarts), topped with boiling water, and pressure canned at 15 lbs. pressure for 40 minutes (for both pints and quarts) OR 45 minutes for diced potatoes (for both pints and quarts).

Hot-packing potatoes is preferred. Potato chunks should be boiled for 10 minutes; diced potatoes should be boiled for two minutes. In both instances, boil the water first, then add the potatoes (as opposed to adding the potatoes to cold water and bringing it to a boil).

Drain the potatoes and pack them in canning jars. They'll be more fragile than cold-packed potatoes, so don't "squish" them down in the jars. Add salt (1/2 teaspoon for points, 1 teaspoon for quarts), top with boiling water, and pressure can at 15 lbs. pressure. For whole potatoes or chunks, process for 30 minutes (pints) or 40 minutes (quarts).  For diced potatoes, process for 35 minutes (pints) or 40 minutes (quarts).

Now understand, this is all "book learning" since I haven't canned potatoes myself. However if anyone has, please chime in and give your experiences. Did you like them? Would you can potatoes again? Let's help this reader out.

11 comments:

  1. we have canned potatoes for years. all those marble sized tubers most people leave in the garden because they are too small to fool with are great to can. wash well, leave the skin on and can per pressure and time for your altitude. they are great for use in stews and soups...not so much for mashed potatoes as the taste is altered by the canning process.
    one of our favorite quick meals is a quart of canned potatoes, a quart of canned beef, a pint each of peas, corn, and carrots, a stalk or two of celery, and two packets of brown gravy mix with enough water to make it work. bring to a boil and you have a quick (about 15 minutes) family meal of beef stew. great for those busy nights you are rushed for time

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  2. Ditto on the above comment, we love canned potatoes, you can also slice and fry them. I have canned them for years. Now I am doing container gardening, as I just have a patio and two small flower beds. So I have ordered grow bags and will give it a try for potatoes. Also you can buy canned whole potatoes, growing up on an island in Alaska, we always had cases of canned potatoes and used them often. This was in the 50's, couldn't grow potatoes there and sometimes the store were out, when a shipment didn't come in. So can your little new potaotes.

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  3. I pressure can potatoes (or carrots) by dry packing-no liquid-35 minutes for pints or 40 minutes for quarts at the pressure for your elevation. FIrst soak them for an hour, rinse, then soak again, rinse to remove some of the starch. Pop open the jar and use for potato salad, fried potatoes (fry them up quickly) and whatever else you use cooked potatoes for. Just make sure the potatoes are really clean, no dirt.

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  4. I cut potatoes with a French fry cutter and process as you described above. They make the most fabulous French fries. https://prepschooldaily.blogspot.com/2021/11/having-trouble-finding-frozen-french.html

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  5. I was watching a video by Rose Red Homestead about canning and dehydrating potatoes. She had experimented with many ways to do it. I wrote her name down but did not bother to get a link since it will be easy to google.

    It has been difficult to find potatoes worth processing this year. They are either rotten or have tiny black spots all through the potatoes.

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  6. I also can the small potatoes. Our favorite way to use them is in a super quick meal, mixed with garlicky green beans.

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  7. The year I learned to can, I put up some potatoe's. Months or more later, I opened the first jar and was disappointed. The potatoe's were slimy! As were the few other jars of potatoe. I'm growing all small taters this year. Will store some in a cool dark place, and or dehydrate.

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  8. I've pressure canned potatoes for many years. Both dry canned and with fresh boiled water. The smaller ones definitely better than cutting up larger ones. The hardest part is scrubbing them clean.
    I like them pan fried, chopped into potato soup, or stew. Have also made a sort of potato salad with them and pickled eggs!

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  9. Prepared GrammyMay 5, 2022 at 7:01 PM

    I have canned potatoes for years. My favorite way is to can them with green beans. Then I just fix a meat, open a jar, and everything is ready for the meal.

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  10. I hot pack and pressure can quarts of cubed potatoes. As soon as I have 4 empty quart jars I replenish my stash. I find that holding the peeled and cubed potatoes in cold water with a generous splash of lemon juice in it before the precooking step helps them stay a pleasant color.

    Agree wholeheartedly on boiling the precooking water first then adding the potatoes to it. I add a generous splash of lemon juice to the cooking water as well.

    Always boil fresh water to pour over the potatoes in the jars. The cooking water will be too starchy and will be cloudy in the jar.

    I grow herbs so I sometimes add a sprig of dill and or parsley to the jar.

    So convenient to have on hand for potato salad, mashed potatoes, soups, stews, fried potatoes and onions, etc.

    You must wash the potatoes thoroughly then peel them before cooking and then canning them. I blanche the clean potato peels, dehydrate them then run them through the blender or food processor to make potato powder. It can be used as a soup base and as a thickener.

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  11. I have started canning them cut into 1-inch cubes because, once or twice a year, I can get 50 pounds of seconds very cheaply, but have no place to store that volume of potatoes where they won’t start to rot within about 6 weeks.

    It’s about my least favorite way to store potatoes (just barely ahead of storing instant potato flakes). I find that by the time they’ve been pre-boiled and then canned, they’ve just short of turned to potato soup in the jar…

    …and so I use them for potato soup, when I’m in a hurry for dinner. Good thing we like potato soup; I got a little overzealous last year.

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